January 24, 2008

Feel so hypnotized, can't describe the scene


Lawrence Weiner, Untitled, 1968

* Paul Krassner on tripping with Groucho Marx. excerpt:

"We ingested those little white tabs one afternoon at the home of an actress in Beverly Hills.

"Groucho was interested in the social background of the drug. There were two items that particularly tickled his fancy.

"One was about the day acid was outlawed. Hippies were standing around the streets waiting for the exact appointed minute to strike so they could all publicly swallow their LSD the exact second it became illegal.

"The other was how the tour bus would pass through Haight-Ashbury and passengers would try to take snapshots of the local alien creatures, who in turn would hold mirrors up to the bus windows so that the tourists would see themselves focusing their cameras."
...
"We had long periods of silence and of listening to music. I was accustomed to playing rock 'n' roll while tripping, but the record collection here was all classical and Broadway show albums. After we heard the Bach Cantata No. 7 Groucho said, 'I may be Jewish, but I was seeing the most beautiful visions of Gothic cathedrals. Do you think Bach knew he was doing that?'"
...
"There was a point when our conversation somehow got into a negative space. Groucho was equally bitter about institutions such as marriage ('like quicksand') and individuals such as Lyndon Johnson ('that potato-head'). Eventually, I asked, 'What gives you hope?'

"Groucho thought for a moment. Then he said just one word out loud: 'People.'

"After a while, he started chuckling to himself. I hesitated to interrupt his revelry. Finally he spoke: 'I'm really getting quite a kick out of this notion of playing God like a dirty old man in Skidoo. You wanna know why? Do you realize that irreverence and reverence are the same thing?'

"'Always?'

"'If they're not, then it's a misuse of your power to make people laugh.'

"And right after he said that, his eyes began to tear.

"When he came back from peeing, he said, 'Everybody is waiting for miracles to happen. The human body is a goddam miracle.'

"He mentioned, 'I had a little crush on Marilyn Monroe when we were making Love Happy. I remember I got a hard-on just talking to her on the set.'

"During a little snack: 'I never thought eating a fig would be the biggest thrill of my life.'

"He held and smelled a cigar for a long time but never smoked it.

"'Everybody has their own Laurel and Hardy,' he mused. 'A miniature Laurel and Hardy, one on each shoulder. Your little Oliver Hardy bawls you out-he says, 'Well, this is a fine mess you've gotten us into.' And your little Stan Laurel gets all weepy -'Oh, Ollie, I couldn't help it, I'm sorry, I did the best I could. . . '"

* In San Francisco?

Budapist Productions Presents: KLIPSCHUTZ READS. Friday, January 25, 7:30 p.m., @ the Adobe Bookshop, 3166 16th st/guerrero, the Premier Destination in San Francisco’s glorious Mission District. Also reading: Tom Stolmar; and international man of literary mystery, Gabor Gyukics, translator of legendary Hungarian poet Attila József. FREE!

* "Why do people think artists are special? It's just another job." -- Andy Warhol

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